CITYLIFT Foreshore Freeway Plan

How can the Cape Town city centre be reconnected with the sea, overcoming the barriers of the Foreshore Freeways?

CITYLIFT is a vision for Cape Town which proposes removing the elevated freeways, replacing it with an at-grade (ground level) road, and lifting the city grid over and above it towards the harbour. This would create a dense, vibrant, green new city district at the harbour’s edge, to act as a ‘grand urban balcony’ providing the public with views of the ocean and harbour, as well as Table Mountain.

CITYLIFT comprises three parts: the city extended to the harbour (at upper levels), sub-surface strategic movement systems, and a new linear park.

The first step involves demolishing the Foreshore Freeway Bridge, dropping the working freeway to the ground and then gradually lifting the city up over this, creating a raised ground that extends the grid of the city at a height of approximately 7 to 10 metres above the existing ground level – lifting it over the public transport and cars moving below. This would allow the CBD to expand, providing more mixed-use space for commercial, residential and cultural facilities and deliver a brand-new city district. A four-lane road in both directions, including dedicated BRT bus lanes, along with parking and other services infrastructure to support the developments above, and a future interface with the harbour, would be built beneath the raised city ground.


  • Team: Future Cape Town joined a 10-company partnership.  dhk architectsUrban-Think TankJAKUPA Architects and Urban Designers,  OKRA, Nigel Burls & Associates, Viruly Consulting, Rode and Associates, BTKM Quantity Surveyors and Trafficon
  • Location : Foreshore, Cape Town City Centre, South Africa
  • Status : One of six shortlisted bids in a competition initiated by the City of Cape Town.
  • Year :  2017